Hazel Crest parents, educators fed up with crime in the community
HAZEL CREST, Ill. - Brazen video released by Hazel Crest police Monday showed an offender firing several shots while next to a squad car.
At about 9 p.m. on March 20, four offenders are seen near a home just west of Kedzie Avenue and Elm Drive.
The offenders can be seen walking across the front lawn of a residence that had a squad car parked out front.
One of the offenders is then seen pointing a gun while walking.
The offender then fires multiple rounds westward on Elm, however, police do not believe anyone or anything was struck.
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The four offenders are then seen fleeing the area. They have not yet been identified by police.
In response to the recent incident, Hazel Crest faculty and students in School District 152.5 hosted a meeting Tuesday to address the violence that continues to plague their community.
It’s the second time this year it has organized an emergency meeting. The district president says about a month ago, a group of cheerleaders in the 7th grade were shot at while walking home.
"The students in my district have become casualties of the senseless violence that continues to remain unsolved and at low priority to The Village of Hazel Crest. I’ve had students who have become paralyzed, have lost mobility, and are terrified to come to school. The accredited faculty we have graciously gained have become terrified to do their jobs as they fear traveling to work. Our faculty have been victims of car thefts and don’t have the support needed to move forward with a safe summer to look forward to," said School Board President Dean Barnett.
The Jesse White Learning Academy Auditorium was packed with concerned residents, Hazel Crest educators and students. Complaints included drivers speeding in residential neighborhoods, requests for more streetlights and most of all, young people living in fear going to and from school.
"If we want a better Hazel Crest we gotta be better neighbors", one audience member said.
Others in attendance spoke about parents stepping up and the school district hiring more private security.
Outside the police station, Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitchell Davis said the issue is juveniles with guns.
"We have 12 and 13-year-olds in custody allegedly responsible for multiple crimes. Their guardians are begging a judge to keep them locked up because they’ve caused disruption to the family," said Davis.
Anyone with information related to the brazen shooting on Kedzie or any other related crime is asked to contact the Hazel Crest Police Department Detective Division at (708) 355-9640.